Playing With / Wide Open Sandbox

Basic Trope: A Video Game that doesn't have strict rules and timelines for the player to follow.
  • Straight: In the game Jack's Rise you play as Jack. The game is loosely structured, there significant plot "missions" but many other side objectives that don't have anything to do with the story that can be done at (almost) any time.
  • Exaggerated: Jack's Rise has plot that isn't done mission by mission, but discovered slowly by just screwing around. The most notable one is after the tutorials you unlock the next plot mission by running over a set number of civilians or driving enough distance in one car. The game does give you hints to this, but overall you unlock more of the game by just screwing around in the world.
  • Downplayed: Jack's Rise is fairly free game, but there are restrictions. Mostly you're limited to a certain area and you can't do things like destroy hundreds of civilans, but what area you can get to are large and given the right skills you could easily reach anywhere or take up targets however you like.
  • Justified:
    • The sidequests don't seem important, but become important to the plot later.
    • Doing the sidequests earns the player extra rewards, such as game credits that can be used to purchase better weapons or defense.
    • The game is not based around winning; it's just one of those happy little time-wasters.
    • The game is a simulation of how real life would behave in that scenario; real life doesn't have a set storyline and set objectives (one presumes).
  • Inverted:
  • Subverted: Although there is an ultimate goal to be accomplished, there are numerous sidequests that can be undertaken, some of which may be semi-important, others not so much.
  • Double Subverted: But there is no time limit to the ultimate goal of the game.
  • Parodied: Calvinball
  • Zig Zagged: ???
  • Averted: No Sidepaths, No Exploration, No Freedom
  • Enforced: "We need to make this game more fun, and more appealing to different kinds of gamers and personalities."
  • Invoked: An optional Side Quest comes up that has little to do with the central plot.
  • Lampshaded: "The rules are: There ain't no rules!"
  • Exploited: ???
  • Defied: The player chooses not to do this, preferring to just accomplish the central goal, whatever that may be.
  • Discussed: ???
  • Conversed: ???

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